Google is one the most desirable companies that people want to work at. It is known for being able to provide the most comfortable environment for its employees. Even though it is a corporate company with more than forty thousand employees, the building offices represent a playful environment. The company’s strategy is to hire the smartest and the most determined employees from diverse backgrounds that speak various languages. Open-minded culture and creative interaction areas are designed to encourage the best outcome form the working minds.
We visited Google as part of a filed trip last week, which was organized by the graduate journalism class at UNR. The main focus of the trip was Design Thinking work atmosphere and process. We visited IDEO, Google and the d.school in Stanford about which I wrote in a previous post. My impression about the work culture in Google was that it is very creative and playful, yet very professional and technologically modernized.
In each building that we visited and in between the buildings there are many areas of interaction, such as cafes, cafeterias, and hangout areas with colorful comfortable couches. Google employees can enjoy a variety of food cuisines at the cafeterias for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From the Indian food to sushi and organic kitchens, the nutritional advantage is provided to employees, with caffeine stops available at any moment. The management does not want anyone to worry about anything beyond the frame of the Google glasses. Landry services, baby day care center and charge station for electric cars are also available on the site.
Colorful sculptures are spread out inside and in between the buildings. For example the front of the Android Building looks like a sweet yard from Hansel and Gretel. Seriously, there are enlarged cookie figures in front of the building. Colorful bikes are available at the entrance of each building, in case employees or visitors are tired from walking around. There is even a volleyball court with send, for those who need to get the blood streaming. In the lobby of the main building, where Google collects the information of all the visitors there were many art-tech activities. There were also few screens at which visitors can have a full experience of Google Earth. I enjoyed finding my parents home in Israel, starting at the full vision of the globe and by slowly zooming into Haifa, Israel.
It was exciting to view the culture at Google. Of course there is a big difference between a first time visitors to a long-term employee. But when someone enjoys such facilities as part of the daily work routine, I am sure that this atmosphere is encouraging fast and efficient results. Especially in the high tech world, structural thinking needs the brakes to continue creativity and efficiency. If you are interested to hear more about creative professional environments, feel free to follow my blog!